EU rejects Ukraine grain bans by Poland and Hungary
On Saturday, Poland and Hungary announced that they would ban Ukraine grain imports through June 30. The ban would have been applied to grains, dairy products, sugar, fruit, vegetables, and meats.
The cause for this ban was in response to rising anger from farmers who say that they were being undercut by cheaper Ukrainian grain flooding their markets. The leader of Poland’s governing party, Jarosław Kaczyński, said that the Polish countryside is facing a “moment of crisis,” and that while Poland supported Ukraine, it was forced to act to protect its farmers.
While the Commission has said that unilateral moves will not be tolerated, it has not yet specified what measures would be taken against Poland and Hungary.
After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it became too dangerous for ships to sail in the Black Sea, disrupting export routes and resulting in large quantities of the grain ending up in central Europe. The United Nations is expressing concern over the fragile Black Sea Grain Deal by sending letters to Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. Currently, dozens of ships are still waiting for inspection. However, it has been reported that Russia has insisted on a random list for inspection each day, causing these inspections to become inefficient.
Meanwhile, Slovakia said it will temporarily ban some farm imports – but not grain – from Ukraine as other countries in Central and Eastern Europe continue considering action. This further deepens the challenge for the bloc as it works to help Ukraine transport its grain to the world.
As of now, European Union representatives are expected to discuss the issue later this week.
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